Teemu Suninen enhanced his WRC 2 title credentials by claiming his second victory of the season at Rally Italia Sardegna on Sunday afternoon.
He climbed to third in the points after winning the four-day gravel event by 49.6sec from fellow Skoda Fabia R5 driver Jan Kopecky. Karl Kruuda completed the podium in a Ford Fiesta R5 on his return to the sport after almost a year’s absence.
Suninen led from the start until he punctured a tyre on Friday afternoon after hitting a rock and slipped to third. It handed the initiative to Umberto Scandola, but the Italian also punctured early on Saturday morning before retiring his Fabia R5 with a leaking water pipe.
The Finn regained top spot after Esapekka Lappi crashed and was never under pressure as he eased through today’s final leg to seal maximum points and finish eighth overall.
Kopecky dropped almost a minute with a front puncture in Friday’s tough conditions to plunge to eighth. However, the Czech staged a tremendous recovery to climb to second by Saturday evening, 2.2sec ahead of Peru’s Nicolas Fuchs.
The pressure was removed this morning when Fuchs rolled his Fabia R5 into retirement, losing his opportunity to take the championship lead from the absent Elfyn Evans.
Kruuda finished 4min 31.1sec behind Suninen and more than two minutes clear of Germany’s Armin Kremer. Julien Maurin and Pierre-Louis Loubet completed the top six in a Fiesta R5 and DS 3 respectively.